You might think that Australian Idol is the worst thing to happen to the local music scene since Joe Dolce, but its producers are trying out an interesting experiment: free ad-supported video content for mobile users. Idol enthusiasts will be able to catch up on weekly performances, recaps and an exclusive video blog via the service. While there have been plenty of shows that have flogged online access for a fee (including Idol itself in previous years), this represents the first time that video content has been made available cost-free from a current TV project that I can think of. Of course, as with most phone content, it helps to read the fine print. Vodafone is sponsoring the initiative, so while Vodafone subscribers get the whole lot for nothing, Telstra, Optus and 3 users are still up for data charges — and as we all know, all-you-can-eat plans don’t exist in this sector. Even so, it does represent a slight shift from the walled garden/wounded bull charging model that has predominated in the past. Would you be more tempted to watch mobile TV if it was free, even with ads in it? Send us your thoughts in the comments.
Free Australian Idol mobile channel launched
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Angus Kidman | Lifehacker Editor
Angus has been writing professionally about technology since 1994 and breaking it for even longer. He is based in Sydney but spends a frankly unhealthy portion of his life on the road, tracking down the latest stories. In 2011, he won the IT Journo Award For Best Consumer Technology Journalist and Consensus IT Writers Award for Best Technical Writer for his work on Lifehacker; about time too.